Natalia Avelon playfully mixes Converse sneakers with a tuxedo style suit.

How to Rock Converse

by Angela Bakke

Converse sneakers started as basketball shoes, then transitioned to a staple for both men and women looking to add edge and style to their outfits. The canvas, rubber-soled shoe, sometimes referred to as a Chuck Taylor shoe, is built on the concept of individuality, so the range of styles runs wide. From high- to low-top, classic white to graphic print, Converse shoes are the ultimate dress-it-down or mix-it-up shoe.

Casual Kicks

A pair of Converse allows you to dress down without sacrificing style. Wear a comfy pair of gray elastic-waistband track pants with a casual T-shirt or tank top and a pair of dark (navy, charcoal, black, etc) and white Converse sneakers. Accessorize with a chunky handbag, messenger bag or tote. Another look can be created by combining your favorite colored Converse with a pair of black, loose-fitting terry cloth workout pants. Layer a cotton tank, a zip-up hoodie, a jean jacket, and a chunky-knit scarf for a comfy, cold-weather outfit.

Set a Style Tone

Converse sneakers are a great way to tone-down the sexiness of an outfit. If you have a favorite pleated minidress that looks hot with a pair of pumps, but you want a way to wear it for daytime, add a pair of floral high-tops. High-top Converse will break up the amount of leg you're showing, and play down the sex appeal of just about any outfit. This look is still quite young and school-girl looking so better suited to a playful kind of day. Create an edgy tone in an understated outfit with a pair of charcoal gray Chuck Taylor shoes with a gold studded collar. Wear them with a pair of black skinny jeans or dark cuffed trousers. Add a white blouse, black blazer and chunky jewelry -- such as a boyfriend watch or a statement ring. Now, you're set for the office or to errands, but with a little unexpected pop-rock style.

Tomboy Style

There are few styles as playfully-sexy as girls in boys clothes -- otherwise know as the boyfriend look. Converse are a perfect wardrobe staple for achieving this look. Start with a pair of well-worn and torn, light-wash boyfriend jeans. On top, layer a boyfriend blazer over a navy and white striped jersey top, or a tank with large armholes or a racer back cut. Finish the look with a pair of classic white Jack Purcell style of Converse, and a sassy hat like a straw fedora or a newsboy cap. Another approach to getting a low-maintenance look is to offset something highly feminine with a pair of Converse. A floral maxi dressed topped by a black-leather biker jacket and paired with low-top Chuck Taylor's in a color that is also in the floral pattern of the dress is the perfect tomboy style.

Avant-Garde Sneakers

There are ultra-chic and super modern versions of the Converse sneaker for the true fashionista. The limited edition shoe designer collaboration between Converse and Comme des Garçons aims to be the ideal blend of an avant-garde, high fashion shoe, and a comfy-casual athletic shoe. If you like your style fancy at all times, this designer leather sneaker is the one for you. Wear the red, black and white style as a statement of its own with a pair of raw denim jeans cuffed high to profile the shoe. Wear the high-tops with a gray or red sweater dress and layer a black leather jacket for a style that's quintessentially cool.

About the Author

Angela Bakke is a Los Angeles-based writer and reporter with more than a decade of experience covering fashion, beauty, the arts and entertainment. She has interviewed some of the most famous people in the world and covered stories for Beyond Cinema,, ReelzChannel, and

Photo Credits

  • Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images